MIKE NIETO: Two days of hoops for a good cause

2012-01-05T22:00:00Z 2013-06-10T23:11:15Z MIKE NIETO: Two days of hoops for a good causeBy Mike Nieto Prep Beat
January 05, 2012 10:00 pm  • 

If you just want to come out Saturday and Sunday to T.F. North High School and watch basketball, you will be treated to four great games on each day.

There is more than basketball at the second annual Bob Hambric Shootout. Hambric, the former Simeon coach, died from cancer three years ago, and T.F. North coach Tim Bankston, who played for Hambric, is looking for a big weekend.

The American Cancer Society and Coaches vs. Cancer will receive some of the receipts from the two-day event. There will also be informational brochures and Bankston said pink ribbons will be handed out.

"I want my kids to learn that this is about getting involved in your community," Bankston said. "Be proactive in getting involved and be proactive in getting checked. Everyone has been touched by cancer in some way. I know we can't wipe it out in two days, but we can help make an impact and get the community involved."

Bankston came up with the idea last year and wants to see more involvement. He helped lead Simeon to the 1984 Class AA state title then played at Bradley and Loyola universities. He said Hambric made a great impact on him and his teammates.

"We used to ask, 'Why is he having us do this?' Well, now that I am older, I understand," Bankston said. "Like when you were little and wondered why your parents had you do something, now that you are a parent or a coach, you see the light. Now you understand why he did things the way he did."

He said to many, Hambric was the male figure and he taught the values of life.

"How to be productive in your community as an adult," Bankston said. "Coach Hambric, he knew basketball was just one part of your life. I want my players to learn that too."

And of course, the reason for the game.

"I tell people to go and get checked out, have that physical," Bankston said. "You are never too young to get cancer. Men, if you are over 40, get checked for prostate cancer.

"I am hoping to raise money, but also awareness. If you are not a fan of the game, at least be a fan of the cause."

Eight dollars a day is a pretty good deal to watch some good basketball and to donate to a good cause. Cancer may never be wiped out, but every few dollars toward research won't hurt.

It's a great way to honor the memory of a Hall of Fame coach and to help a good cause.


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